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Eliezer_Yudkowsky comments on Debiasing as Non-Self-Destruction - Less Wrong

25 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 07 April 2007 08:20PM

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Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 09 April 2007 11:33:13PM 4 points [-]

Cynical prof, I don't think the humanities are meant to enable us to go to the moon. They're meant to output good literature. Expecting otherwise is like castigating physicists who can't play bongo the way Feynman did. So, the proper reason to label postmodernist poseurs as "bogus" is that they cannot output good literature, not that they are incapable of producing more "practical" benefits.

Comment author: zslastman 22 November 2012 06:24:21PM *  0 points [-]

Actually the humanities people I know used to argue vehemently that the humanities were NOT supposed to output good literature (I seem to remember someone commenting that Nabakov stands almost alone amongst writers in also having been an academic). Rather they would wave their hands and produce some version of the following:

1)Allowing people to better appreciate existing literature

2)Something about knowledge for it's own sake (fair enough I guess)

3)Preserving critical thought (the kind of critical thought you write long essays with, not the kind you can measure in any way)

4)Defending society from the vulgarity/arrogance of Scientific Thought - think Foucault or Derida